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Three stories about pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women, pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Julia Tellier (Madeleine Renaud) taking her girls (whores) to the country for attending her niece's communion, pleasure and purity. And lastly, Jean (Daniel Gélin) the painter falling in love with his model, pleasure and death.Written by
It is difficult to illuminate much more than has already been described in other comments. Aside from limited clips of "Letter from an Unknown Woman", this is the first Ophuls film that I've seen. Thankfully, all four of his 1950's masterpieces are now available on DVD, but I write with the appreciation of one who is just discovering this director.
This film is certainly a near if not complete masterpiece, and compares well to my favorite film of 1952, Becker's "Casque d'Or", particularly in how both films commence with indelible scenes that personify each director's method.
Here, I so thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of my favorite actors - Pierre Brasseur, Danielle Darrieux, Jean Servais, Simone Simon, and particularly Jean Gabin. It seems that the leitmotif of pleasure is communicated so resoundingly, so subtly by camera work that is astonishingly pulsating yet perceptive. The purity and clarity of emotion is brought forth through the movement and transition of the wonderful Guy De Maupassant stories, not through strict character development.
I give this film a 10, but I somehow feel that I will find other Ophuls films, such as "La Ronde" or "Madame De", to be its equal. I look forward to viewing them.
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